July 9, 2019
It’s unclear what possible benefit the Philippines could gain from a war with China. The idea that Filipinos care about the disputed Spratly Islands is stupid. Most Filipinos do not even know they exist. And if their resources are to be harvested by “The Philippines,” it is only going to be American companies doing it.
The Islands have always been under the possession of Vietnam and China, historically. In 1956, Tomás Cloma, a Filipino adventurer/fisherman claimed some of the Islands, but he didn’t claim them in the name of the Philippines, but instead established “The Free Territory of Freedomland” (best country name ever), which he said was an independent country.
It wasn’t until 2014 that the Philippines started talking about this claim, at the behest of the United States.
And the resources aren’t even the actual issue. That is a red herring. The issue is their strategic relevance.
Anyway, this is allegedly the only issue that the Philippines supposedly has with China, and it is a fake issue that they are being bullied into caring about by the US. China would be more than willing to give the Philippines a massive economic investment in exchange for forfeiting their Freedomland claim.
And what is the US offering them?
What, since the Philippines was declared independent in 1951, has the US offered them, at all?
If Washington wants the Philippines to fight China, the US military should come and fire the first shot, President Rodrigo Duterte argued, accusing the US of using its allies as “bait” for Beijing.
“There is always America pushing us, egging us … making me the bait. What do you think Filipinos are, earthworms?”Duterte said in a speech in Leyte province on Friday, which only got media attention on Sunday.
“Now I say, you bring your planes, your boats to South China Sea. Fire the first shot and we are just here behind you. Go ahead, let’s fight,” he added. “Do you want trouble? OK, let’s do it.”
The remarks came as the government in Manila finds itself sandwiched between US demands for a tougher posture towards China and Beijing’s maritime expansion in the South China Sea, specifically the islands that the Philippines have claimed as their own.
The US knew about China building up the islands, the president told the audience in Alangalang, at the opening of a rice processing factory, noting that the US Navy has the Seventh Fleet stationed in Japan.
“Why didn’t they send it to the Spratly and say ‘Hey guys, you are not supposed to build artificial islands in the high seas, that is exactly prohibited by international law and the fact is you are constructing it within the exclusive economic zone of our friend, the Philippines’?” Duterte asked. “They left them to build it, now it’s all there. All the guns are there, all the missiles are mounted.”
Last month, a Filipino fishing boat was rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel, with 22 of its crew members left to fend for themselves in what the military in Manila described as a “hit and run” at sea. They were all eventually saved by a Vietnamese ship. Duterte has dismissed the incident as a “little maritime accident,” calling for restraint from Beijing but refusing to escalate the situation.
“We can never win a war with China,” the president explained on Friday. “I am not about to order my soldiers to go to the mouths of hell to die without a fight. I cannot do that.”
Duterte is absolutely right to point out that he has no dog in this fight.
China is a much more reasonable ally for any country than the US.
China doesn’t try to fuck you around with stupid nonsense.
In 2016, the US canceled a delivery of 26,000 rifles to the Philippine National Police because of “human rights concerns” (i.e., killing drug addicts). Do you think China cares if the Philippines kills drug addicts? Does Russia?
The US – and its proxy, Europe – is the only country that tries to meddle in the internal politics of the countries it does business with.
The US also has a record, as Duterte points out, of abandoning allies. They also often start wars with their allies without warning. The US is a psychotic, schizophrenic actor on the world stage.
Duterte should do everything that he can to back out of all alliances with the US and move toward China. China will pour much needed money into the Philippine economy in exchange for forfeiting the Freedomland claim. They will deliver weapons and laugh when they are used for the extrajudicial slaughter of drug dealers and corrupt politicians.
Vietnam definitely has more issues with China, because they’ve had wars with them for like, over 1,000 years. Plus they’ve had more recent issues with Chinese people running all of their businesses (something that the Filipinos aren’t really that bothered by). But they need to be practical, and consider what it means to be allied with the US. They need to bring in Russia to mediate these issues, since Viets have long-standing good relations with Russia.
No one with any sense at all should be allied with the US.
Turkey is backing away from the US. Japan is backing away from the US. Europe is doing their damnedest to figure some way out of their entanglements. Everyone with any sense is backing the hell away from the US.
Being friends with the US is like being friends with a methhead insurance fraud expert who is stockpiling small arms, raising pit bulls in his garage and building bombs in his basement, while ranting about “shadow people” every time he opens his mouth.